“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”
I actually stumbled across this book by accident. It's set in Indiana, which is beyond awesome since I'm a Hoosier. How could I possibly refuse learning more about Finch and Violet's epic Wander Indiana adventures?
I'll admit, I was a little bit leery of diving into this book because I tend to shy away from realistic fiction. I think you connect with the characters on a much deeper level, which makes it hard to separate their grief from what you experience while reading about their lives. Despite my initial misgivings, I decided to read a chapter and see if it was worth continuing. Spoiler: I read nearly forty pages without even realizing it!“It's my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”
It didn't take long for Finch to steal a little piece of my heart. His persistence, wittiness and love for Violet was utterly charming. He refused to let Violet destroy herself and become lost in grief over her older sister's death. Witnessing his downward spiral was torture. Even though he was saving Violet from herself, he refused to acknowledge he was worthy of being saved from himself. “What if life could be this way? Only the happy parts, none of the terrible, not even the mildly unpleasant. What if we could just cut out the bad and keep the good? This is what I want to do with Violet - give her only the good, keep away the bad, so that good is all we ever have around us.”
Violet truly came to find herself and rise above the tragedies life threw her way. I was glad I could witness her inner strength become reality. "I say, "You're the best friend I've ever had, Theodore Finch." And he is, even more so than Eleanor."
This book gave me a completely different insight into mental illnesses and the feelings of hopelessness they cause their victims. Kudos to Jennifer Niven for sharing her personal experiences with such difficult and somewhat uncomfortable topics. “We do not remember days, we remember moments.”